Camping World continues to acquire more and more RV dealers on its “march on to world dominance.” Just a few of the RV dealers recently purchased or being purchased by Camping World include Roy Robinson RV, Travel Land RV Center, Halterman’s RV, Breeden RV Center, Carbon Emery RV, All Seasons RV, and Funtime RV, among others.
In some markets, Camping World has now acquired a fourth and possibly upwards of a third of the RV dealers that regularly exhibit at local RV shows.
This begs the question of what will happen to local RV shows when “King Marcus” invokes his policy of not supporting them?
A smaller regional RV show that traditionally has eight local dealers exhibiting decreases to six. In larger markets, you may have a show with 12 dealers that regularly exhibit pared down to nine.
What are the consequences of losing 25–33 percent of the local dealers exhibiting at an RV show?
- Fewer exhibiting RV dealers equates to fewer RVs for the attending public to compare.
- Fewer RV dealers means less income for the show promoters to cover their expenses. Those include renting the venue, advertising, hiring seminar speakers, paying staff, and much more. Their only choice to stay afloat is to raise prices for their exhibitors (RV dealers) and attendees (ticket admission prices).
- RV show attendees are less likely to attend the shows as they realize: Why pay more to attend the show to see fewer RVs than they were able to see in the past when there were more dealers?
- The show might hang on for a few more years until Camping World drives out one or two of the competing RV dealers in the market or acquires them.
- Collateral damage will be the nonprofit show associations that produce RV shows for the benefit of the public and the industry. Many of these associations use the proceeds of their RV shows for training local RV technicians, investing in vocation programs and donating to other non-profit organizations that support outdoor recreation.
My guess is that once enough local multiple-dealer RV shows have been defeated, we will see more of Camping World’s ‘Ultimate RV Show’ productions pop up in their place. Of course, at these “shows” there will be no way to determine if you are getting a good price on an RV as there won’t be any competition among dealers. “Peasant” RV dealers that aren’t part of the Camping World “kingdom royalty” won’t be allowed to exhibit at these shows.
What are your thoughts? Will local RV shows survive? Please share using the comment box below.
Dave will be speaking at the 2023 America’s Largest RV Show in Hershey, PA, September 13th – 17th. He would love to meet RVtravel.com readers that will be attending. Feel free to introduce yourself after one of his seminars.